ScrobbleDroid – Closer, But Not Quite There Yet

For many music fans, a key to their listening experience is scrobbling to Last.fm.  For those not familiar with the term, it refers to recording the songs that you play.  Last.fm has built its unique offering based on the ability to record when and how you listen to music.  The process of recording is called scrobbling.  For years, whenever you listened to things on iTunes, they could be recorded on Last.fm’s site.  Even the Songbird team built scrobling into their basic product offering.

Why is this data important?  That’s a great question.  People care about this kind of data for a variety of reasons.  Some people just want their friends and followers to know more about themselves.  Some people like to be considered experts in something (e.g., a band, an album or a community of mutual interests).  And some people like to meet and interact with other people that share their interests.  Scrobbling collects data that makes all of these things possible.  [Note: Scrobbling also lets record companies and bands target their music and their marketing to serious fans.]

Because a large and active community chooses to publicly record their music preferences via scrobbling, most music products have open interfaces and/or direct interfaces to the Last.fm service.  Consequently, you can scrobble with almost any PC or Mac-based music player.  But this is not the case with mobile phone-based music players.

Because most music players on Android do not provide native support for scrobbling, creative people have built their own scrobbling engines for use on the Android platform.  ScrobbleDroid is one such engine.  This product was originally a Google Code project.  It is now a product that can be obtained from the Android Market.  And it is an excellent (and free) tool for scrobbling your listening habits to Last.fm.

Unfortunately, it only works if you use the Android Music application.  So it currently supports only music that is stored on your Android phone.  But I have high hopes that someday, it will be extended to support both the Google Music platform as well as the Amazon Cloud Drive platform.

In the meantime, if any of you know of a different scrobbling tool that works with streaming music, drop me a note (via comment, email or Twitter).

-Roo

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